Dear St. John's Families,
As I mentioned in my previous message to you, the board of trustees has been working diligently to form a committee to lead the search for the new head of school. I am pleased to announce the details to you today.
Whenever we speak of St. John's, the phrase
often comes to mind. To me, this is the essence of the St. John's experience. As we have contemplated the upcoming search, the board of trustees believes it is imperative to include in this process representatives from across this nurturing St. John's community.
Over the past month we have been reaching out, eliciting input and feedback on the process, asking for and receiving names, and making sure we are being as inclusive as possible. As with any decision, there are those who will be pleased with the result and those who might prefer something different. My hope is that by beginning this process in an open, collaborative and inclusive manner, and by keeping the two-way lines of communication open, we will not only arrive at the best solution for St. John's, but we will also arrive unified and supportive of our new head of school.
The search committee comprises nine outstanding members of the St. John's community. The committee will be nimble and efficient but will also allow for a diversity of opinions and approaches. Each member represents an important St. John's constituency and each brings a wealth of experience, expertise and resources to this search. Each has demonstrated his or her passion for St. John's in numerous ways; some will be familiar to you, while others may represent new names, but all are unquestionably qualified to lead us on this most important journey. The group includes representatives from across our community: current parents, alumni parents, faculty and parishioners. I have asked former Parents Association President Melissa Eakes to chair the committee.
The Search Committee Members
- Audra Chavis (current parent and board member)
- Derek Claybrook (current parent and board member)
- Melissa Eakes (current parent and past Parents Association president)
- Judy Gass (current grandparent and former St. John's interim head of school)
- Mark Kraemer (alumni parent, parishioner and board member)
- Mary Odom (faculty member and alumni parent)
- Scott Parks (alumni parent and former board member)
- Jennifer Sharpe (current parent and board member)
- Father John Thorpe (school chaplain)
Visit www.stjohnsschool.org/head-search to view brief biographies of each search committee member and to stay informed during the search process. (This page cannot be found without the link so I recommend bookmarking it.)
The Search Committee's Work
The search committee will determine the process for securing candidates, identify the budget for the search, create a candidate profile for a new head, conduct the search and ultimately recommend the candidate(s) to the board for approval. The committee has much to do. And while the board has empowered the committee to determine its approach, I know that at many points along the way, search committee members will need to tap into the considerable resources of the St. John's community. There is much to be done, but I know we will come together, as we always do, and get it done.
Melissa and the rest of the committee are committed, as am I, to communicating often to you about this process. As the committee gathers and develops plans, you can expect updates on its progress. Some have asked how long this process will take. Mark Crotty has provided us with the luxury of time by providing such early notice. However, as with any important hiring decision, it will take as long as it takes to find the right person for the job. The committee will have a better sense of timing once it gets into the market, but our hope is that by working efficiently and strategically, we will have a new head of school in place for the 2019-20 school year.
This is the beginning of a new phase in St. John's history. The work that will be done during the coming months will have a meaningful and lasting impact, not only on today's students, but also on future classes. I know that you will support the school by supporting the search committee--with your words, deeds and prayers--as it embarks on this most important mission.